Commissioner Provides Guidance re: Homeschoolers

The latest letter from the Commissioner about homeschoolers clarifies six key points.

First, parents do need to put something in writing to verify that a student is leaving the public school to be homeschooled.  The Commissioner advises that this can be done with a written notice from the parent, or the signing of your school’s withdrawal form.  Parents are not required to show up in person—they just need to give you something in writing.

Second, Leaver Reason Code 60 requires a signed and dated letter from the parent, stating that the student is being homeschooled and the date when it will begin. That’s all the documentation you need for Leaver Reason Code 60.

TIME OUT!  Question for you PEIMS experts: are there 60 codes for leaving?  Does this mean there are 60 ways to leave your school, when there are only 50 ways to leave your lover????  Help me out here.

Third, if you become aware that a student is being homeschooled you “may request in writing” both a “letter of assurance” and a statement that “the home-school curriculum is designed to meet basic education goals including reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and a study of good citizenship.”  Parents are not required to provide details of the curriculum, nor are they required to provide this letter each year.  But they are required to provide the two “assurances” that T.E.A.’s letter calls for.

The fourth point in the letter is about the awarding of academic credit when a student transfers from a homeschool to a public school.  The basic rule is that such a student should be treated the same as a student transferring in from a private school that is not accredited.  The letter includes some specific suggestions for this, depending on what grade level the student is in when transferring.  Your counselors will find this helpful.

Fifth, the Education Code requires schools to permit homeschoolers to participate in PSAT/NQMST and Advanced Placement testing that is offered to enrolled students.  Moreover, public school districts must notify the public about this via a newspaper or website.

Sixth, there is this with regard to child abuse reporting:

Finally, there has been some concern that school districts may be contacting Child Protective Services regarding children who are being home-schooled.  While school officials are required to contact that agency in instances of abuse or neglect of a child, the determination of whether compulsory attendance has been violated should be made by the school district or local judicial authorities.

Here is the entire letter.


File this one under: HOME SCHOOL

Tomorrow: Dear Dawg: we are 0-2 already—what can we do?????